This is my Blog. I'll try to update it with interesting snippets much as I can. Thank you for reading...

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

One really good bit of news. Short, shout it from the roof top news:

Dominic West has bought the film rights to my books, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade.

Very pleased indeed. Wasn't sure it was going to happen, but at last all is well and signed. I first met up with Dominic in Feb of this year to talk about the books. His daughter had been reading The Red Necklace and raving about it, so Dad read it also and wondered if the film rights were up for grabs, my agent said they were. Odd timing because without knowing that Dominic was interested, I had been watching all of The Wire, glued to screen and thoroughly loving it. Quite freaky then to suddenly find McNulty on your doorstep and speaking with an English accent.

He was thoroughly charming and bright as a proverbial button. In fact, one rather clever man. And not just because he bought the rights. Recently, my friend Judy and I went to see him in Life is A Dream at the Donmar Theatre. Without now sounding like a complete sycophantic smut - the play, the translation, his performance and the other actors just blew me away. Magical.

After the show we were supposed to meet Dominic for a drink. Regretfully, in short not to put to finer point on it, I lost my courage and Judy and I left without greeting him, thinking that after two performances in one day all the man needed was to have some sleep and he would not feel like conversing. (Here I have to stop and say in my defence that once long ago in another lifetime I worked in the Theatre and the one thing I found cringe making was all the hangers on hoping for the exhausted star to appear.) Apparently, though, I was wrong, and he had a bottle of bubbly ready to greet us! My timing can be truly terrible. Or rather my confidence just morphed into outright shyness.

Fingers crossed that one day we might just have that glass of champagne to celebrate the film opening… wouldn't that be amazing? Well, a girl can dream. Sometimes they even come true.

The actor and director Dominic West and his production company White Soup have announced the acquisition of the film and television rights to THE RED NECKLACE by Sally Gardner. Dominic West is celebrated for his portrayal of ‘Jimmy McNulty’ in THE WIRE, on which he was also a director in its award winning final season. The deal secures first options over the further books in the series, including THE SILVER BLADE, first published in the UK by Orion Books. Development will take place in the UK, where West is currently directing an episode of Jimmy McGovern’s MOVING ON for LA Productions, and where he has recently completed a sell out run in LIFE IS A DREAM at The Donmar Warehouse. In January 2010 West will be starring for Disney/Pixar in the upcoming film JOHN CARTER OF MARS directed by Andrew Stanton. Dominic West said: “I am delighted to be developing Sally’s wonderful book for film. My daughter and all her friends who raved about Harry Potter, now rave about "The Red Necklace". The book has a great spirit of adventure, which I believe will translate to make this a hugely popular family film.”

Friday, 27 November 2009

I have been struck low with what I can only describe as medieval tooth trouble, had back molar removed under sedation originally given for the yearly cleaning of the teeth. I said to the dentist before going to sleep, ”Back tooth giving me a bit of jip.” Came round to find massive hole and no back molar! Two days of moaning and groaning okay, ten days later pain becomes unspeakable. Ended up in hospital with severe jaw infection, in A&E on a drip for the afternoon. This meant a lot of waiting around. Hospitals, as I discovered, are on a different time to the rest of the planet. They’re slower and the more you become stuck the more the real world becomes only visible from a glass window.

My one consolation was my brand new toy: a Kindle from Amazon. Bought it because I’m fascinated by these new e-readers and the general fear and awe they inspire in publishers and authors alike. My first attempt was with a Sony e-reader but it wasn’t compatible with my Apple. A pity as it meant I was unable to access the hundreds of free classics that came with it. All I could do was find a program on the internet that tricked the Sony reader into thinking it was a pc. It turned out to be useful in the end to read my manuscripts off, but really for little else. I could see though that they had a place in the joy of reading. So it was with great excitement I waited for my kindle to windle its way from the US to here and light my fire.

It’s without doubt a joy to behold and very well designed - not too heavy and very easy to understand. So there I was in hospital my jaw being prodded and then being told to wait for the doctor, it seemed churlish to ask how long, so heart sunk as plastic hospital tag was attached to arm. Most probably staying in all night. Panic! I’ve brought nothing with me what do I do? Then it struck me: why don’t I put my Kindle to the test? Having already set up an account with Amazon I searched for a book recommended to me by fellow writer and friend Ian Beck, it’s called ‘Child 44’ and it’s by Tom Rob Smith. Suddenly I was no longer in the hospital but in some snowy wood in the depths of Russia.

I think this is almost the ideal travelling companion. It can store more books than even the most voracious reader could get through on a holiday and can be wiped clean and new books added as well as newspapers and magazines. All arriving into the Kindle with the greatest of ease. The typescript can be blown up to a larger scale; useful for people like me who have problems with text, especially when it starts doing acrobatics. It also has a read back program although I haven’t tried it out yet. In my humble view anything (and I mean anything) that can help people to read and love books is fine and dandy.

I don’t believe for a moment that it will replace books or bookshops or the love of owning a brand new book that no one has read before. In fact I think if you read something you love you might well want to own the paper book even more. You can’t flick through your Kindle you must read it in a linear fashion. A book is an object that asks only for the energy of your mind and rather than needing to be recharged, it will wait a lifetime for you to finish it and its battery will never be flat. Also there is that certain perfume books have, like a fine wine it gets better with age.

The e-reader’s only problem as far as I can see is that it will suffer from the same mobile phone trouble - too many and too many companies, some only working with this publishing house or that pc; rather like the Sony e-reader. Interesting to note that apparently Random House haven’t signed up to the Kindle Amazon deal and I wonder if they’re planning on bringing out there own e-reader… No doubt Apple also has something up their ever-expanding sleeve.

So in my humble opinion I think this is something to embrace and put to good use. I remember when there was all that talk that TV would stop radio. Yet it seems TV is the one wilting on the vine and it’s radio that has gone from strength to strength. So before all writers, authors and publishers out there have a heart attack, take a deep breath and try one.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Oh dear me. The idea with blogs is, I’m told, to keep them updated - for reasons that I can’t quite fathom and it feels a bit more like homework than it should.

Make note to myself: must try harder.

I have managed to finish chapter thirteen of my new novel today, always good to get into the teen stage. My editor’s seen the first ten chapters which is reassuring. She made some positive sounds and when I have twenty chapters she will see them again. This time round it's all there, the plot. Everything thought about, chewed over, planned for months, rehearsed and ready to go. But who am I kidding? Have a character who was meant to meet his maker in chapter seven and he refused to. So there I am in chapter twelve and finally he agrees to his fate. You see for all my careful planning, characters do seem to have a life of there own and that I find fascinating.

But wait! I hear you say - aren’t you in control? You are the writer, if by chapter seven you deem your character dead than dead he must be, after all your plot demands it. That is one way to look at it but not my way and also slightly too control freaky for me. Instead I am intrigued as to where my hero and villains are going and what they will do when they get there.

When I was writing I, Coriander, I had it in the back of my mind that Hester would be horrible, but the minute Hester began to speak she had the sweetest kindest voice and try as I might horrible she refused to be. I am beginning to think I am nothing more than a electric currant through which stories find there voice. Do I mind? No I am darn lucky that they choose me at all.

So my one and only reader, you. Have worked out this much (and even this much I am not sure of). I think it might be very simple. Not rocket science. I am a human hamster: I go round on my wheel, I live to write and I write to live.

On a different note - bought more bookshelves from IKEA, the cheap and cheerful ones that now look amazing due to my beloved daughter who today has plastered them with black and white photos from twenties & thirties old book - very designerish. Quite a work of art and finally when they are full which is likely to be on Wednesday I will have some shelves that aren’t just books piled in masses upon chairs; vague tumbling towers of research and literature.

Last of all to the mice. They’re not nice, they’re not hamsters. I tried pretending it was wind in the chimney all last week, saying no no that's not mice, it’s nothing, even when loud undeniable squeaking could be heard. Well, you guessed it. They sent out invitations to other mice in the area on their Whiskerbook and on Squeaker, which is Twitter for rodents, and invited their friends and distant relatives over for a Halloween party in my cupboard, where they all dressed up as rats.

Came home on Saturday to hear loud mouse music and joyous celebrations, even with a rodent rapper leading the gang. They were making enough noise to keep the ghosts and ghoulies very happy and quite frankly scaring the pants off me. I’m typing louder than ever did to drown out the noise, have music playing and I still can hear them. This is one long party I tell you. Thought about getting a cat. Still wondering if said cat might eat my mini dachshund instead of mice. Phoned for mouse man, he’ll come tomorrow to lay out little guillotines for them all. Oh dear what’s that? Did you hear it? They’re at it again those mice and their wild parties.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Ends and Beginnings

I have been stricken with chest infection and am now stuck feeling  rather sorry for myself. I am not good at being ill or rather I hate feeling under the weather. Okay enough with the moaning. Can’t believe the summer has come and gone. Went to Italy and Spain, having decided that I wouldn’t be going due to a failure with a suitcase, in short I was feeling so upset about losing my brother that the idea of packing anything was quite impossible. In the end a dear friend help me out and amazingly found myself at airport off for a glorious holiday away from the troubles at home.

Back in London I am now nearly on Chapter Ten of what is being called The Memory Chamber - more of a working title at the moment. Well that’s what I think but my editor at Orion is keen on it. Titles in their own right are another story and can take months to come up with. I mean Catch 21 doesn’t quite have the magic. The Great Gatsby was not on the top of the list for titles.

At least ten chapters is something and you can begin to see how it is all coming together. Plotting for me has never come that naturally usually I get side tracked and go round the houses before getting back to my original thought. This time I have gone about it quite the other way round and have spent four months plotting the book out and thinking very hard about all the characters and how all the events take place and the where and whys. Still, the minute I start to write something I hadn’t planned on back to the plotting board I must go...

Thursday, 27 August 2009


I'll be attending this event, if anyone feels like coming I look forward to seeing you there. It should be great fun.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Thank you all for your patience. It has been a very difficult time for our family. My brother Stephen died on the 20th of June. It was a very tragic loss for us all. Sorry if you have had no replies to any of your inquires but I have been very involved in family matters. I’m now beginning to pick up the pieces so will be up and running again soon. Cheers, Sally

Monday, 1 June 2009

sorry to say

Due to personal reasons I will not be doing any more events or
returning emails until further notice . please check back later .
Thank you all for your understanding .

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

See me at the Hay Festival


Celia Rees & Sally Gardner

Vive la Revolution!

Event [HF57]
Wednesday 27 May, 4pm

Venue: Oxfam Studio

Prepare to be swept away by Celia Rees (Witch Child, Sovay) and Sally Gardner (The Red Necklace, The Silver Blade) with their tales of bold heroines, ruthless villains and the guillotine.

9–14 years

Monday, 30 March 2009

The Red Necklace from amazon

The Red Necklace

the Silver Blade audio book

The Silver Blade

Buy The Silver Blade

The Silver Blade

Lottie as a policedog

Picture of my dog Lottie

Having great fun as have jsut discovered how to blog pictures, so here is a picture of Lottie

The cover of The Silver Blade

Silver Blade

I am very excited, have just sat through the new recording of The Silver Blade, read by Janet Suzman. It was read so beautifully, and I am so excited by the fact that she is also going to read the unabridged version of the Red Necklace. Personally, I like to listen to unabridged books, mainly because I think you then get the full measure of what the author is trying to do.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

See me on YouTube talking about The Silver Blade

See me talk about my new book:

"Children's author Sally Gardner discusses growing up in Dickensian London, dyslexia and her new novel, THE SILVER BLADE.

The Silver Blade is the page-turning sequel to her novel of the French revolution, THE RED NECKLACE, and the conclusion to Yann and Sido's story."